A current investigation by the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv) found out that apps dedicated to children are not necessarily children friendly. The study was conducted in the context of the project “Consumer rights in the digital world” and analyses 32 apps, free of charge, especially dedicated to children.
The study shows that:
- Many apps lure children with free of charge offers that finally develop into In-app-purchase offers.
- The line between advertising within the apps and game content is not always clear and appropriate for child needs.
- The integration of social networks like facebook and twitter appears especially problematic in terms of data protection.
To design child-friendly apps, improvements are urgently needed: “We need not only rules for the players of the app but also for the developers and providers. They should not be allowed to manipulate and financially abuse the infantile play instinct”, says Carola Elbrecht, coordinator of the project “Consumer rights in the digital world”.
Vzvb position paper on child-apps: http://origin.vzbv.de/cps/rde/xbcr/vzbv/Kinder-Apps-Positionspapier-2013-08-22.pdf
Source: Federation of German Consumer Organisations